My Children Have Blossomed -- Now It's My Garden's Turn

It's hard to believe that someone as clumsy and uncoordinated as me would be a gardener.

Especially considering that I once broke a toe making a sandwich and -- just this weekend -- nearly broke my dishwasher simply by running it. (No, not running INTO it)

But I love to garden.

It's my therapy. The one way I have to quiet my mind and meditate (I never could quite get the hang of sitting quietly and thinking of nothing - I always imagine the next zombie apocalypse or Barack Obama riding a unicorn).

This year? My garden is going to be better than ever.

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After my second son was born, I vowed to get back into my garden. While I was pregnant, I could barely move around enough to pee properly, so getting myself up and down off the ground to garden would have been like one of those sea lions you see at the zoo.

If you think I'm joking, let me tell you that my friend (someone who loves me dearly), once seeing me in my winter coat the year I had my son, began to laugh until he cried. When I asked what was "so funny," he informed me that I looked like Grimace. Except less purple.

After my son was born, and I returned to a more human shape, I tried to take him outside. I'd forgotten, of course, that this would be the child who would only allow one person -- me -- to hold him for that first year of his life.

My garden languished sadly as I sat inside, nursing, not sleeping, and slowly losing my mind.

Shortly after my son turned one, I delighted in returning back to my roses. And shortly after I got back into my roses, I found out that I was expecting. Two back-to-back miscarriages later, I got pregnant with my daughter. And when I did, I began to bleed and was put on activity restriction, which, after two miscarriages, I was more than happy to oblige with.

She was born at the end of January in the Midwest, where we live, and at the beginning of February, she went under the neurosurgeon's knife to repair a very serious birth defect called an "encephalocele." That summer, still coping with some PTSD from her birth, I spent weeping and crying, shaking with anxiety. I couldn't leave my house.

The summer after that, my children, ages 1, 3, and 8, were not quite ready to be outside without supervision. They also insisted that their mother -- not their workaholic father -- be the one to supervise them. Which meant that I could get into the garden, but only for about 20 seconds at a time unless they were a) sleeping or 2) sleeping. Otherwise, they'd stand at the back door, staring at me sorrowfully like a pack of wide-eyed puppies.

This summer, though, my children now 3, 5, and 10, are more than able to play with each other in the backyard. Happily, they scream, run, play tag and ball, push each other on the swing, and cause mischief and mayhem.

They also? Love to help in the garden.

So while it may be some time before they can learn how to properly prune a rose, they can take a set of clippers and "cut the grass." Or prune weeds. Really, they can do just about anything.

And they do.

My roses? My roses are going to kick ass this year.

Just like my kids.

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